'I regret it and take responsibility for not thinking about it enough': Natalie Portman laments signing petition in support of Roman Polanski in 2009

  • Natalie Portman now regrets signing a petition in 2009 to support the release of Roman Polanski who was at the time being held on a Swiss warrant
  • The warrant was related to his 1977 under age sex case which he plead guilty to but fled America before his conviction 
  • She said someone she respected asked her to sign it, and so she did without thinking enough about it
  • Portman also addressed a question about Woody Allen- partially dismissing him as someone whose 'career is over'

Natalie Portman has said she regrets signing a petition in support of director Roman Polanski in 2009.

The actress, who is now a prominent member of the Time's Up movement, was one of many stars to demand the release of the film-maker, who was being held in Swiss custody on a warrant related to his 1977 under-age sex case, in which he pleaded guilty.

She told BuzzFeed: 'I very much regret it. I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough.

'Someone I respected gave it to me, and said 'I signed this. Will you, too?' And I was like 'Sure'. It was a mistake.

Natalie Portman says she regrets signing a petition to support the release of Roman Polanski from a Swiss warrant in 2009
Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman says she regrets signing a petition to support the release of Roman Polanski from a Swiss warrant in 2009 

'The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes.

'We lived in a different world, and that doesn't excuse anything. But you can have your eyes opened and completely change the way you want to live. My eyes were not open.'

Portman, now 36, revealed that, after her turn in The Professional in 1996, which she filmed over her 12th birthday, the roles she was offered were 'sexy little girls'.

Discussing her role in Beautiful Girls, in which she played a 13-year-old opposite Uma Thurman and Mira Sorvino, she said she feels uncomfortable about the fact that a man in his 20s, played by Timothy Hutton, falls in love with her.

She said: 'In retrospect it's weird because so many of the stories around the Weinstein case involve people from Beautiful Girls.

'I didn't know that all the adult women I was working with, who I was admiring so much and felt so cool to get to be in a movie with them, were being harassed at the same time.

'I was, like, the cute little kid on set everyone was treating totally respectfully and kindly.'

Both Thurman and Sorvino have alleged they were harassed by movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

She also touched on Woody Allen, when asked about if 'time may be up for the director', after sexual abuse allegations were leveled against him- which he has denied. 

Dismissing the question, the 36-year-old said: 'I don’t think that’s what the conversation should be about. I think it should be about: Why didn’t Elaine May make a movie every year? Why didn’t Nora Ephron make a movie every year? Where’s the female version of Bill Cosby? Why don’t we see any Asian women in films?

She worked with 82-year-old Allen on the 1996 film, Everybody Says I Love You. 

Taking a swipe at Allen, she said: 'There’s so much art that’s being lost by not giving opportunities to women and people of color. Let’s not talk about what man’s career is over.    

Director: The Oscar-winning actress, who has been one of the figureheads for the #MeToo and Time's Up movement anti-sexual harassment movements, said the conversation should be directed elsewhere in an interview with Buzzfeed 

Director: The Oscar-winning actress, who has been one of the figureheads for the #MeToo and Time's Up movement anti-sexual harassment movements, said the conversation should be directed elsewhere in an interview with Buzzfeed 

The star said people should talk about equal opportunities for all, mentioning 'women, people of colour, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community opportunities.' 

She continued: 'Let’s talk about that huge hole in our culture. I don’t want to talk about ‘Isn’t it sad that this person who’s made 500 movies can’t make movies anymore?’ That’s not for me to decide. And it’s also not what I’m upset about.'  

In the same interview Portman spoke about announcing the director category at the Golden Globes by highlighting they were 'all-male nominees'.

She said: 'I discussed with some of the women I've been working with that they had offered to me to present the director category, but I felt uncomfortable because it seemed to be excluding some deserving nominees.

'And how could I bring attention to it without disrespecting the nominees? Because it's not their fault, and they all made great work. You don't want to not recognize them.

'It's just, why aren't we recognizing the people who aren't part of this exclusive club? So one of the women recommended I say that, and it felt like stating something that was true.

'That's part of what we're here to do. We have to make it weird for people to walk in a room where everyone's not in the room.

'If you look around a room and everyone looks like you, get out of that room. Or change that room.

'Whether you go to a restaurant, whether you go to your kid's school, whether you go to work – if you look around, and everyone's not in the room, change that room.'

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